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Lord Chancellor, and also to the senior county member for presentation and that a copy of the same be forwarded to all the representatives of the county of Surrey in Parliament, with a request that they will support its prayer."

Nov. 8 and 25.

(Before W. T. S. DANIEL, Q.C., Judge.)

HUTCHINSON v. AUDSLEY. Chattel-Ownership-Regaining possession.. A person claiming to be owner of a chattel, finding it in the possession of another, who claims to have bought it bonâ fide from a person whom he believed to be the owner, is not justified in regaining possession by trespass and threat of violence, but should pursue his remedy by action. Addison on Torts (3rd edit.), 347; Blades v. Higgs (30 L. J., N. S., 347, C.P.), explained Where a trespass is committed under circumstances of unjustifiable violence exemplary damages may be given. Bell v. Midland Railway Company (30 L. J., N. S., 273, 3. P.), Emblem . Myers (Ib., 71, Ex.). Possession of a chattel is suficient evidence of property against a wrongdoer (Add. 355). Watson for plaintiff. Bilbrough (Rawson, George, and Wade), for defendant.

His HONOUR.-This action is brought to recover the sum of £101s. as damages, first, for the wrongful taking and conversion by the defendant to his own use of a sewing machine, the property of the plaintiff; secondly, for that the defendant, on the 20th Oct. 1873, broke and forcibly entered the dwelling house of the plaintiff, stayed and made a noise therein, and removed and took and carried away the plaintiff's sewing machine, and disposed of the same to his own use. The facts of the case are these: The plaintiff is a tailor in a small way of business, having a shop in Bradford. In Aug. 1872 Benjamin Murgatroyd, who was in the same way of trading in Bradford, was then giving it up, having purchased a greengrocer's business, and he applied to the plaintiff and asked him if he would buy a sewing machine, which Murgatroyd had had in use in his own business upwards of twelve months, and represented to be his own; in reply the plaintiff said he would if he could try it, and on trial found it suited him. Murgatroyd thereupon sent the machine to the plaintiff's shop, and he tried it; and though it was a little out of repair through use, he considered it would suit him, and he and Murgatroyd ultimately bargained for it, Murgatroyd asked £108., the plaintiff offered £4 5s., which sum Murgatroyd agreed to accept, and on the 13th Aug. 1872, the plaintiff paid Murgatroyd £15s., and took his receipt for that sum, as the purchase money for the sewing machine. The plaintiff had the machine repaired and put in order for use, and he used it in his business, in his shop in Bradford, from Aug. 1872 down to the 20th Oct. in the present year. And, as far as the plaintiff is concerned, I am satisfied that he honestly bought and paid for the machine, believing it to be Murgatroyd's property. On the 20th Oct. last a man, who was a stranger to the plaintiff, came into his shop, where he and his son were at work on their board, and asked if he had a sewing machine in his possession. The plaintiff said yes, and showed it the man. Having looked at it the man asked the plaintiff whom he got it from. He told the man he had bought it of Benjamin Murgatroyd more than twelve months ago, and the circumstances under which he bought it. The man said Murgatroyd had no right to sell the machine, it was not his to sell, and he should go and get a warrant against Murgatroyd, and went away. About three hours afterwards the same man, accompanied by another man, again entered the plaintiff's shop, where he and his lad were at work, and in a loud tone and violent manner (intended to intimidate the plaintiff) read the following document: "8, Exchange-buildings, Bradford, 17th July, 1871. Memorandum, No. 107. -I, Benjamin Murgatroyd, of No. 5, Pratt-street, Leeds-road, Bradford, have this 17th day of July, 1871, hired of F. J. Audsley and Co., of 8, Exchange-buildings, a manufacturing machine, Singer principle, and its appendages, as stated in the inventory at the end of this agreement, at the rent of £1 per month, and having paid £1 this day, the next payment to be made on the 17th Aug., and so on from month to month till the sum of £8 is paid, subject to the following conditions, viz. In the event of my not paying any one of the said payments on the day they are due, I agree and do hereby give full permission to the said Audsley and Co. to enter upon any premises wheresoever the said machine and its appendages may be, either peaceably or otherwise, and remove the same therefrom for his own use. I also agree to pay the said hire whon due, and give up the said machine and its appendages as above stated, and also agree to give to the said Audsley and Co. immediate notice in case of removal of the

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said machine and its appendages, with the full that upon demand of restitution and refusal by
address.-Wintess my hand, + BENJAMIN MURGA- the plaintiff no more force was used than was
TROYD. Witness, John Capestick. July 17, 1871." necessary to gain possession-held that the plea
Having read this document the two men took was an answer to the action, and overruled the
the machine out of plaintiff's shop by force, and demurrer; and the case is, therefore, properly an
against his will, and with such violence that, in authority on the proposition of law laid down by
removing the bobbins of thread, which was on the Mr. Addison, but not an authority for the defen-
machine, they threw them against the window and dant's contention here. The defendant's men,
broke it. The plaintiff remonstrated, but in vain. when they entered the plaintiff's house under
He told the men he had bought the machine from pretence of the authority contained in the memo-
Murgatroyd, and offered to fetch the receipt to randum of the 17th July, 1871, and with the in-
show them; but the man who had read the paper tention of removing the sewing machine by
said Murgatroyd had no right to sell, and he had violence if resisted, committed a trespass, and
power under that paper to break open any door, the defendant admits himself to be liable for their
take out any window, and pull down any wall, if acts, as having been done by his authority. Now
necessary, to get possession of the machine. By the agreement gave the defendant no authority
means of this violence and these threats the two which would sanction such an act, and the defen-
mengot possession of the machine and took it away. dant's advocate did not attempt to justify the
And it is admitted that these men were sent by entry under the agreement, but he insisted
the defendant, and that he authorised and held that at most nominal damages only could be
himself responsible for their acts. Upon the given; and in support of that contention he
hearing before me it was contended by the defen- cited Pritchard v. Long (11 L. J., N. S., 306,
dant's advocate that all that was done was justifi- Ex.), where, in trespass for entering the plaintiff's
able by law, and that the plaintiff had sustained dwelling house and taking certain goods, not
no injury which was a cause of action. The alleging them to be the goods of the plaiutiff,
agreement was proved by the attesting witness, upon a plea of not guilty the plaintiff recovered
and that Murgatroyd's name was signed by him- nominal damages only, the court refused to
Murgatroyd putting his cross. There was no in- increase the damages by the value of the goods;
ventory to the agreement, but it was not disputed Parke, B. stating the plaintiff is not entitled
that the machine the plaintiff had, and which was to a rule to increase the damages, for he cannot
taken from him, was the machine to which the maintain an action for taking the goods in ques-
agreement related; and it was proved that Mur- tion, unless they are his property; but here there
gatroyd had not paid all the monthly payments-is no allegation that they belonged to him, nor any
only four or five. It was said on behalf of the admission to that effect in any special plea." In
defendant that the agreement showed that Mur- the present case the machine is alleged to be
gatroyd was only a bailee for hire of the machine, the property of the plaintiff, and, thereupon,
and had no property in it, and could not there. Pritchard v. Long (which, it may be observed,
fore transfer any property in it to the plaintiff was decided in 1842, and long before the Common
the purchase by him not having been made in Law Procedure Act was passed, which gave the
market overt. And it was then insisted that the judge at Nisi Prius power of amendment so as to
property of the defendant being found in the prevent a failure of justice through mere techni-
possession of the plaintiff, and the plaintiff upon cality, a power which this court possesses, and it
demand refusing to give it up, the defendant was is for the judge to exercise whenever applied to)
justified in using as much force as was necessary can have no possible application to the present case.
to re-possess himself of his own property. And a But apart from any question of increasing the
passage in Addison on Torts, p. 347, 3rd edit., was damages by the value of the goods seized, when
relied upon as stating the law upon the subject. The alleged and proved to be the property of the
passage is this: "Reception of goods wrongfully plaintiff, I don't think that the plaintiff is limited
seized or stolen. If A. has actual possession of a to nominal damages when the trespass is an act of
chattel and B. takes it from him against his will, lawless violence and insult, and attended with
A. may use as much force as is necessary to defend actual damage to the plaintiff's property, though
his right and enable him to retake the chattel; that damage may be small. Here there was law-
and if a chattel has been seized and carried away less violence, and some evidence of damage to the
by a person who has no colour of title to it, and plaintiff's property, by breaking the window in
the owner comes and demands it, and the trespasser throwing off the bobbins from the machine. The
refuses to give it up, the owner may use force defendant, assuming that he had a right, chose to
sufficient to enable him to retake his property." exercise it with a high hand, and in a manner
And for this proposition the case of Blade v. Higgs which was intended to intimidate the plaintiff,
(10 C. B., N. S., 713, and 30 L. J., N. S., 347, C. P.), and by threat of violence to his property terrify
is cited. But I am unable to see the application him into submission, and he succeeded. In such
of that case to the present. The plaintiff was not a case a jury would be justified in giving ex-
a person who had taken the chattel from the emplary damages (Bell v. Midland Railway
defendant when it was in his actual possession Company, 30 L. J., N. S. 273, C. P., and Em-
and against his will, nor was the plaintiff a person blem v. Myers, Ib. 71, Ex.); and, sitting
who had seized and carried away the chattel as a jury, I am justified, and consider it
having no colour of title to it. He had bona fide my duty in order to protect a peaceable man,
bought and paid for the chattel from a person who aud one who was innocent of any intentional
represented himself to be, and whom the plaintiff wrong towards the defendant, as the plaintiff
believed to be, the true owner, and whose pos- was, and to prevent the recurrence of such high
session of the chattel was and is in law prima handed lawlessness, to give exemplary damages.
facie evidence of property in it, though the pur. The defendant's advocate maintained, with much
chase not having been made in market overt, it is earnestness, that upon the construction of the
open to the true owner, by a proper course of pro- agreement of the 17th July 1871, Murgatroyd was
ceeding, to allege and prove his ownership, and a bailee for hire, that he had no property in the
procure the restitution of the chattel, or recover machine during the bailment, and that when he
damages for its unlawful detention or conversion, sold the machine to the plaintiff he determined
as the case may be. But neither the passage in the bailment, and passed no property in it to the
Addison nor the case of Blades v. Higgs is any plaintiff, having none to pass; and he cited two
authority for the course pursued by the defendant cases, Cooper v. Willomatt (14 L. J., N. S., 219,
in this case. The case of Blades v. Higgs, as is C. P.), and Marner v. Banks (17 L. T. Rep. N. S.
well known, ran its course through Westminster 147), to show that when a bailee for hire sells the
Hall, and was ultimately decided by the House of article bailed to a bona fide purchaser for value,
Lords (31 L. J., N. S., 151, C. P, and 34 L. J., N. S., who buys in ignorance of the bailee's want of
286), and confirmed the law as laid down by Lord title, whether such sale be by private contract, as
Holt in Sutton v. Moody (1 Lord Raym. 250), and in Cooper v. Willomatt, or by public auction, as in
recognised and acted on by the Court of Exchequer Marner v. Banks, if the sale be not in market
and the Exchequer Chamber in Lonsdale v. Rigg overt, the bailor (the real owner), may in an
(26 L. J., N. S., 196, Ex.), that game killed by a action of trover, if there be conversion, or of
trespasser becomes the property of the owner detinue if there be not, recover the property or
of the land where it was killed, and that the tres- its value from the purchaser. These cases are
passer had no property in it, and could not transfer useful for the purpose of showing that if the con-
any title or colour of title to it, to a person who struction of the agreement be as contended for by
was cognizant of the unlawful means by which it the defendant, there was neither necessity nor
had been obtained. The plaintiff in Blades v. Higgs excuse for the defendant resorting to the lawless
was a licensed dealer in game, who had bought in violence resorted to in this case. Having found
the morning two sacks full of dead rabbits from the machine in the plaintiff's possession, and
poachers, who had unlawfully taken them in the having demanded it from him, and he having
night from the preserves of the Marquis of Exeter, refused to deliver it up, the law gave the defen-
and the rabbits were taken from him by the dant an ample remedy for the recovery of his
Marquis's servants, using no more force than was property or its value, if it were his, as
necessary for the purpose. And upon demurrer against the plaintiff; but in any proceeding
to a plea in an action brought by Blades against for such recovery the plaintiff would have
the Marquis's servants for assault and battery, had the opportunity of questioning the defen-
and unlawfully taking his goods, the Court of dant's title, and having the right properly
Common Pleas the demurrer admitting the considered and decided by lawful authority.
allegations of the plea to be true, which alleged The advocate for the plaintiff did not argue the
the unlawfulness of the plaintiff's possession, question of the proper construction of the agree
the goods were the property of the Marquis, ment, but relied upon the tort committed by the
by whose orders the defendant had acted, and defendant, and the plaintiff's right to substantial

damages, and in the view I take of this case, it is not necessary for me to decide the question of construction. The agreement is drawn by the defendant himself, and is unskilfully prepared, and it is by no means clear that although the words hired and hire and rent are used, that the transaction was a hiring in the true sense of the term, or that the monthly payments were rent reserved as a hiring. In the two cases cited there were undoubted hirings. The transaction in the present case looks more like a sale and purchase, the purchase money being payable by instalments, the property passing by the contract, but the vendor reserving to himself the right to reclaim possession from the purchaser, so as to restore to himself the lien of an unpaid vendor for such portion of the purchase money as might remain unpaid-a right which would be good and enforceable as between the parties, but would not be enforceable against a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the agreement. I make these remarks that it may not be supposed that I assent to the construction of the agreement as in. sisted upon by the advocate for the defendant. The proper construction would require careful consideration, and if the agreement were fairly open to two constructions, as it was prepared by the defendant and imposed by him upon an ignorant man who could neither read nor write, that construction might be adopted which was most favourable to Murgatroyd, and more especially if, as urged by the defendant's advocate, a construction in the defendant's favour would render Murgatroyd liable to a charge of felony under 24 & 25 Vict. c. 96, s. 193. As against the defendant as a wrongdoer, the plaintiff's possession, honestly acquired, is sufficient to sustain the allegation of property in this action, and I see no reason why I should assess the damages at less than the sum claimed. The judgment will therefore be entered for the plaintiff for £10 and costs, and as this court is accessible at all times at little cost, and its decision can be obtained with little delay, there is no reason why parties who consider the rights of property infringed upon, should take the law into their own hands with violence, instead of seeking redress here, when the case is within the limit of the jurisdiction of this court.


Monday, Nov. 24.

before performance the trustee may, on behalf
of the debtor, take proceedings in his own name
to protect the estate against an adverse claim
by a third party. Where a trustee applies to
the court for directions under sect. 20 Bankruptcy
Act 1869, and directions are given, parties
against whom the trustee, in pursuance of such
directions, raises an adverse litigation, are not
prejudiced, nor is the trustee protected as against
them by such directions if the litigation fails.
The rule in Ex parte Waring (19 Ves. 345)
is not applicable where there is not a double
insolvency. And bill holders, if it be in
their power to compel a second insolvency,
and thus bring the rule into operation, are not
bound to do so if it be to their prejudice and
they decline: (See also Powles v. Hargreaves,
3 D. M. & G. 430; 25 L. J., N. S., 1, Ch.; Hickie's
case, L. Rep. 4 Eq. Ca., 226; Ex parte Alliance
Bank L. Rep. 4 Ch App. 424; City Bank v.
Luckie, L. Rep. 5 Ch., App. 773; Bank of Eng-
land v. Perry, L. Rep. 7 Ex. 14; Ex parte Smart,
L. Rep. 8 Ch., App. 220.)
Ambrose, instructed by Wood and Killick, Brad-
ford, for motion.

Shaw, instructed by Busfield and Atkinson,
Bradford; Gordon, Lincoln's-inn-fields, London;
Watson (Watson and Dickson, Bradford); and
B. C. Pullan, Leeds, appeared for the different

bills amounting to £3524 8s. mentioned in the notice of motion. In opening this motion the following questions were raised for decision: First, whether on the 25th July 1873 (the day when the petition for liquidation was presented, and to which day the title of the trustee related) the respondent George Millar had any and what lien on the goods referred to in the notice of motion; secondly, if he had, whether, according to the rule established in Ex parte Waring, the goods ought not to be sold for the benefit of the debtor's estate, and the proceeds divided pro rata among the other respondents (the bill holders), and their proofs against the debtor's estate reduced proportionably ; thirdly, whether, assuming the lien as to the goods to be established, the acceptance for £700 mentioned in the notice of motion would, under the circumstances under which that acceptance was received by Millar, be covered by the lien; and, if not, whether the court would order Millar to deliver it to the trustees as forming part of the debtor's estate. There was also a subsidiary question raised upon a separate notice of motion, to which Millar and Messrs. Balfour and Co. (but not the bill holders) were respondents, whether part of the goods of which Millar was in possession at the date of the notice of motion (8th Oct.) had not been wrongfully obtained by him from Messrs. Balfour and Co. since the 25th July 1873; but this His HONOUR.-This motion is made on behalf motion, after being partly heard, has, on the of Charles Joseph Buckley, the trustee of the submission of the trustee, been since dismissed property of the debtor, Arthur Charles Bartrum, with costs. And the order in the present motion for an order directing that George Millar shall will therefore apply to all the goods and proceeds forthwith deliver up and transfer to the said of goods in the possession of Millar on and since Charles Joseph Buckley all stuff pieces and manu- the 25th July last, as well as the £700 acceptance. factured goods belonging to the estate of the said As part of the trustee's case, it appeared on referdebtor, or forwarded to the said George Millar by ence to the file of proceedings that the said the said debtor, and which are now in his posses- general meeting of creditors under the petition sion or under his control, and directing that he was held on the 13th Aug. 1872, and at such meetshall account for and pay over to the said Charles ing resolutions were duly passed, first, that the Joseph Buckley the proceeds of such goods so affairs of the debtor should be liquidated by arbelonging or forwarded as shall have been sold angement, and not in bankruptcy; and, secondly, and disposed of by him since the 25th July last, that Buckley should be appointed trustee. And and for an order directing that the said George on the 15th Aug. these resolutions, with others, Millar shall transfer and deliver to the said were duly registered and the trustee's appointment Charles Joseph Buckley a certain acceptance for duly certified. It also appeared that on the 10th £700 drawn by the said debtor by his firm of Sept. 1873, a meeting of the creditors of the A. C. Bartrum and Co., upon and accepted by debtor was duly held for the purpose of considerMessrs. E. MacMorland and Co., now in the pos- ing any offer made to the trustee by the debtor on session of him the said George Millar; or that it the 26th Aug. 1873, to pay the costs of the promay be declared that such goods and proceeds, ceedings, and to pay in full such of his creditors and the said acceptance or some part or parts as were entitled to be paid in full, and to pay to thereof respectively, are securities for indemnify. his other creditors a composition of 78. in the ing the said George Millar against the payment of pound, by three equal instalments at the respeccertain bills of exchange, amounting altogether to tive periods of three, six, and nine calendar £3524 88., drawn by the said debtor in the name months, from the date of the acceptance by the of his said firm upon and accepted by the said trustee of such offer; all such instalments to be George Millar, and which were current on the said secured by bills of exchange, payable at the 25th July 1873, and that the holders of such bills above periods respectively, to be drawn by the are entitled to the benefit of such security, and to creditors upon and accepted by the debtor; and have the same applied in payment of the said bills, the payment of the bills for the last instalment to and are entitled to participate in the same rateably be secured as after-mentioned; and that the proin proportion to the amounts of their respective perty of the debtor vested in the said trustee bills without prejudice to their rights to rank on should be retransferred to him on the acceptance the estate of the said debtor, and to claim against of such composition by the creditors as a scheme the said George Millar for the balance or residue, of management of his affairs (except certain spinany, of the said bills which may remain due toning and weaving plant at Newland Mills, which them after realising the said securities, and apply. the trustee should retain as a security for the ing the proceeds thereof towards satisfaction of payment of the bills for the last instalment of the the amounts due to them in respect of their said composition as mentioned in the said offer), respective bills, and for an order that in case any and such meeting was held for the purpose of of such bill holders shall have proved against the considering the propriety of sanctioning the accepestate of the said debtor, the amounts of their tance by the trustee of the said offer or any modifirespective proof are to be reduced by the cation thereof as a scheme of settlement of the amounts they may receive in respect of their affairs of the said debtor. And at such meeting proportion of the proceeds to arise from the it was resolved that the sanction of the creditors said securities, and in case they have received of the debtor be, and the same was thereby, given any dividends or composition from the said to the acceptance by the trustee of the offer of the debtor or his estate in respect of their said debtor, subject to the following modifications, debts, for an order that they may repay and namely: That the composition be paid by three account for the same to the estate of the equal instalments at the respective periods of two, said debtor, and for an order directing for the six, and nino calendar months from that date purposes aforesaid all necessary inquiries and ac. (10th Sept.); and that the last clause of the offer counts to be made and taken, and that all neces- giving the debtor a right to take the weaving plant sary orders and directions may be given for the at a valuation be withdrawn; and that the trustee realisation and application of the said securities; be authorised and empowered to accept such and that, if necessary, a receiver may be appointed offer so modified accordingly; and to re-transfer for the purpose of effecting such realisation and to the debtor the property late of the debtor then application, and generally for the purpose of vested in the trustee (except the spinning and settling the rights and equities between the weaving plant at Newland Mills referred to in the undermentioned parties and estate of the debtor said offer) immediately after the debtor shall have respectively, and the rights of proof of the said paid to the trustee the costs of the proceedings bill holders upon the said estate, and for an order and the amount due to the trustee and to the BRADFORD COUNTY COURT. providing for the taxation and payment of the creditors of the debtor who are entitled to be paid Oct. 18 and 21; Nov. 18. costs of and incidental to this application by such in full; and shall have deposited with the trustee (Before W. T. S. DANIEL, Q.C., Judge.) person or persons or otherwise as the court should the bills of exchange required by the terms of the think fit, and generally for such other order as to offer so modified to be given for securing to the Ex parte BUCKLEY; Re BARTRUM. the said court should seem meet. The respon. other creditors of the debtor the composition of Arrangement by liquidating debtor to repurchase dents are Mr. George Millar, of 56, Bow-lane, 7s. in the pound mentioned in the said offer, and estate from trustee-Rights of trustee against Cheapside, London, commission agent; the Brad- that the trustee be authorised and empowered to third parties-Application of Ex parte Waring ford Old Bank (Limited), Bradford; Messrs. retransfer their spinning and weaving plant, or -Directions of court-Litigation by trustee-Richardson and Co., 28, Clement's-lane, London, such part thereof as shall then be unsold, to the B. A. 1869, ss. 20 and 28. bill brokers; the Exchange and Discount Bank debtor immediately after the whole of the bills for Where a debtor under liquidation proceedings (Limited), Leeds; Messrs. Benjamin Wright and the last instalment of the said composition shall makes an arrangement with his creditors to re- Son, stuff manufacturers, Wibsey, near Bradford; have been paid; and, lastly, that the terms above purchase his estate from the trustee (which is and Messrs. Wilkinson and Airey, silk spinners, specified be assented to by the creditors as a approved by the court under the 28th section Brighouse, near Huddersfield. The respondents scheme of settlement of the affairs of the debtor. Bankruptcy Act 1869) upon certain conditions,' (other than Millar) are the holders of the several There does not appear to be any evidence on the

(Before Mr. Registrar BROUGHAM.) Re GEORGE Odger.

Liquidation-Creditor present, but not voting. THIS was an application for the confirmation of certain resolutions passed at a meeting held in July last, providing for the acceptance of a composition of 18. in the pound in satisfaction of the claims of creditors and the annulment of the bankruptcy. The bankrupt was described as of High-street, Bloomsbury, boot-maker. He had sued the Figaro for an alleged libel, and being unsuccessful in the action, was adjudicated on the petition of the proprietor of that publication. J. Vernon Musgrave, who appeared in support of the application, stated that the papers had been placed before Mr. Paget, the official assignee, and a point now arose upon his report with regard to the position of one of the creditors who attended the meeting, but took no part in the proceedings.

His HONOUR observed that according to a decision of the Lords Justices in Ex parte Orde, re Horsely, a creditor who attended a meeting without voting in any way must be considered, in reference to the resolutions come to at such meeting, as a dissenting creditor.

Robinson, as representing the creditor in question, intimated that his instructions still were to take no part in the proceedings.

Mr. Registrar BROUGHAM said the creditor neither assented nor dissented, but threw the responsibility upon the Court. In the face of the decision referred to, he was unable to confirm the resolutions, but the application might be renewed if the assent of all the creditors to the confirmation of the resolutions could be obtained.

file of proceedings that the debtor actually or personally assented to the modifications of his offer, as resolved upon by the creditors; but such assent must, for the purposes of this motion, be assumed to have been given, because it appears that by an order of this court, dated the 30th Sept. last, made on the application of the trustee and supported by the affidavit of himself and his clerk, it was ordered that the approval of the court be, and it is thereby given to the said resolution and to the arrangement thereby authorised as a scheme of settlement of the affairs of the debtor; and on the hearing before me it was admitted by the trustee, on behalf of the debtor, that such assent had been given. Upon this order and these resolutions appearing, it was objected by Mr. Pullan, on behalf of the respondents, the Exchange and Discount Bank, Leeds (who are the holders of seven of the bills in question, amounting to £1333 11s.), that the trustee had no right, title, or interest in him which would justify his raising this litigation with the bill holders for the purpose of reducing their right of proof upon the bills; that, as trustee, his duty was to protect the interests of the creditors, and not take part with the debtor for whose benefit this motion, so far as it affected the bill holders, was intended to operate. This objection was not concurred in by all those who represented the other respondents. Mr. Watson, on behalf of the respondents, Messrs. Wright and Son, and Messrs. Wilkinson and Airey, desired that the court should make a declaration as to the rights of his clients. To remove the objection Mr. Ambrose, for the trustee, offered to amend the notice of motion by adding" on behalf of the debtor," and, if required, to add also the name of the debtor as a party moving. This was objected to on behalf of Millar and some of the other respondents, on the ground that the amendment would, as they conceived, materially affect their interests in the merits of the motion as it now stands. I proposed to allow the motion to be amended as the trustee might be advised on the payment of costs, but this was not assented to by Mr. Ambrose, and I thereupon allowed the motion to proceed, reserving to Mr. Pullan the full benefit of his objection, but I intimated that I should treat the motion, so far as it was adverse to the interests of any of the respondents, as a motion made by the trustee in the interest and on behalf of the debtor as the purchaser of the property under the scheme of arrangement. The debtor not having yet complied with the conditions precedent mentioned in the scheme, is not now entitled to a transfer of any of the property vested in the trustee, and, consequently, the trustee still remains the legal owner of such property. But, nevertheless, the debtor is, in my opinion, entitled to ask the trustee to take all such proceedings as may be necessary or proper for the protecting the property against any claims set up by third parties which would have the effect, if enforced, of preventing the debtor's possession when and if he shall become entitled to it. The debtor may, therefore, in my opinion, try the question between him and Millar, using the name of the trustee for that purpose. The question, however, must be tried between the trustee and Miller exactly as the question would have had to be tried if the property had never been vested in the trustee by means of the liquidation. Under the liquidation the trustee acquired such property and rights only as the debtor then had the liquidation which is the voluntary act of the debtor could not deprive Millar of any rights he then possessed, nor prejudice him in the enjoy. ment or enforcement of those rights, and therefore the first question raised by this notice of motion, namely, whether Millar had any property by way of lien in the goods in question may, I think, in this way be properly tried upon this notice of motion as it stands, but of course the parties objecting have the benefit of their objection reserved. His Honour examined the evidence in detail, and proceeded.] I come to the conclusion that the lien claimed by Millar is established, and that the first part of the notice of motion, which asks that Millar shall forthwith deliver up to the trustee the goods in his possession, as belonging to the debtor's estate, must be dismissed, and this will extend to the goods in Millar's possession received from Messrs. Balfour. The next part of the motion asks for the delivering up to the trustee of the acceptance for £700. On this point his Honour said:-If it were necessary to come to a decision upon this point I should be strongly disposed to consider the £700 acceptance was sought to be obtained by the debtor unfairly to the prejudice of Millar, but it is not necessary to come to such a decision, because it was admitted upon the argument be fore me that the £2208 11s. 9d., mentioned in the debtor's balance-sheet as the estimated value of goods in the hands of Millar, applicable to meet his acceptances for £3524 88., included this acceptance for £700; and that admission, coupled with the evidence, is sufficient to eutitle Millar to retain that acceptance as part of his lien, and to receive the £700 from Mr. Morland when it be

comes due, and give a valid discharge for it; and, as a consequence, that the trustee and the debtor are not only bound not to interfere with or prevent such receipt by Millar, but are bound to do all acts necessary or proper for enabling Millar to obtain such receipt. The second question, namely, whether the rule established in Ex parte Waring ought to be applied in this case, has now to be considered. The contention on the part of the debtor is that the bill holders are bound to apply to Millar and compel him to realise the goods which he holds, and apply the proceeds (including the £700 acceptance when received) in payment of the acceptances amounting to £3524 8s. pro rata among them, and then that they should be admitted to prove against the estate of the debtor and receive the composition of 7s. in the pound upon the amount of their bills, less the sum they shall have received from Millar. In other words, that the debtor is entitled to have the goods in Millar's hands applied for his benefit, discharged of his liability, and indemnify Millar. As the debtor has obtained a resolution of his creditors (which is binding upon all his creditors, including the bill holders) to accept a composition of 78. in the pound, the creditors (other than the bill holders) have no interest in the question of the amount for which the bill holders are to prove, and on which they are to receive the 7s. in the pound. That is purely a question between the debtor on the one hand and the bill holders on the other. Now I take it to be quite clear that the bill holders are entitled to receive from the debtor as drawer, and Millar as acceptor, either together or separately, 20s. in the pound upon the amount of the bills, and that as they are now limited to 78. in the pound from the debtor, as drawer, they are entitled to recover at least the difference, 13s. in the pound, from Millar, and to recover it in the best way they can from Millar. They are not bound to have regard to the fact that Millar is an accommodation acceptor. They are entitled to treat him as primarily liable, and deal with him accordingly. As between the debtor and Millar, the debtor is primarily liable to pay the acceptances in full and to indemnify Millar from all liability in respect of them. But the contention on the debtor's part is, that because he has become insolvent he has relieved himself from his liability to Millar, as acceptor, and can demand to have the goods and moneys which are in Millar's hands as an indemnity against his liability as accommodation acceptor, and which are insufficient for that purpose, withdrawn from Millar, and applied to relieve the debtor of his liability as drawer. This is shown by the letters written by Messrs. Wood and Killick, on the 30th Sept. to the bill holders. The demand thus made would involve a plain and manifest injustice both to Millar and the bill holders; to Millar because it would withdraw from him property which, being insufficient for his indemnity, he is entitled to dispose of to the best advantage for his own protection, and to the bill holders, by compelling them to accept a dividend of 7s. in the pound upon a reduced amount of proof, which must leave them less than 20s. in the pound. On the 26th Sept. last, and before the resolutions of the 10th Sept. had been confirmed by this court as a scheme of arrangement under the 28th section of the Bankruptcy Act 1869, the trustee applied to this court for its directions upon a statement now upon the file which represented the facts of the case, as the debtor afterwards stated them on his application, and which, upon the whole evidence I have come to the conclusion was erroneous. On that application coming before me, and assuming the facts to be correctly, stated, I directed that the trustee should give such notice of motion as he might be advised for the purpose of bringing Millar and the bill holders before the court, in order that the rights and equities of all parties might be ascertained and declared. And the present notice of motion has been given in consequence of that direction; but neither Millar nor the bill holders ought to be prejudiced by that direction, nor are they in any way bound by the trustee's statement as to any of the facts alleged by him; and I notice this particularly, because it must not be supposed that a trustee derives any advantage over an adverse party, or secures any benefit or immunity to himself by any order the court may make upon his ex parte statement, beyond this, that as the court has sanctioned his proceedings, he may expect to be indemnified out of the estate for any costs he may properly incur himself, or be ordered to pay to those with whom he raises the litigation, if it should ultimately fail. The trustee's case, now that the facts are fully before the court, depends entirely upon the applicability of the rule established in Ex parte Waring to the present case. In my opinion that rule is not applicable. The foundation of that rule rests upon the necessity for applying it in order to adjust conflicting rights and equities between two sets of creditors, claiming under the forced administration of two insolvent estates. The existence of the double insol.

vency is necessary to the application of the rule; it does not rest upon any original right in the bill holders; though, when the application of the rule has been rendered necessary by reason of the double insolvency, the bill holders may obtain the beeefit of it by independent proceedings of their own; but no authority has been cited, nor am I aware that any exists showing that they are com. pellable to do so to their own prejudice. The authorities upon the subject, which were cited, are Ex parte Waring (19 Ves. 345: 2 Rose Bank. Cas. 182); Powles v. Hargreaves (3 D. M. & G. 430; 25 L. J., N. S., 1, Ch.); Hickie's Case (L. Rep. 4 Eq. Cas. 226); Ex parte Alliance Bank (L. Rep. 4 Ch. App. 424): City Bank v. Luckie (L. Rep. 5 Ch. App. 663), Bank of Ireland v. Perry (L. Rep. 7 Ex. 14), Ex parte Smart (L. Rep. 8 Ch. App. 220.) A short statement of the case of Ex parte Waring, which established the rule in question, and the principles of Lord Eldon's judgment will show its inapplicability to the present case. In Ex parte Waring the facts were these-Bracken and Co., manufacturers, in Lan. cashire, drew upon Brickwood and Co., bankers, in London, who accepted their drafts, Bracken and Co. remitting to them cash and bills to cover their liability, and Bracken and Co. had also deposited with Brickwood and Co. the deeds relating to certain real estate as a further security. On the 7th July 1810, Brickwood and Co., the acceptors, became bankrupt, being at that time under liability upon acceptances for Bracken and Co. to the amount of £21,000, but having in their hands belonging to Bracken and Co. as security for their indemnity-cash balance £6760 7s. 6d., also short bills £21,645 103., and deeds relating to real estate which realised £2961; these, amounting together (exclusive of the cash balance) to more than the acceptances, so that Brickwood and Co., the accommodation acceptors, were fully covered by the securities in their hands. Now if on the day after their bankruptcy it had been ascertained what was the demand Brickwood and Co. had against Bracken and Co., it is impossible to deny (Lord Eldon says) that if Bracken and Co. had relieved Brickwood and Co. of the acceptances for £2400, the short bills and the deeds must have been restored to Bracken and Co. On the other hand, it was equally clear that Bracken and Co. could not have re-demanded the short bills or the deeds without bringing in under the estate of Brickwood and Co. funds equal to the claim that Brickwood and Co. had in respect of the short bills and the mortgage, for they were first applicable to the discharge of those acceptances, not for the security of the persons in whose hands those acceptances were, but for that of Brickwood and Co., who had become liable for them. The liability of Brickwood and Co. must be exonerated before any restitution could be claimed by Bracken and Co. In consequence, however, of Brickwood and Co.'s bankruptcy, Bracken and Co. also became bankrupt; this happened on the 2nd Aug. 1810, and it then became impossible for the rights between the two estates to be properly adjusted. Bracken and Co.'s estate was no longer able to make the restitution necessary to entitle it to redemand the securities from Brickwood's estate, and Brickwood's estate was left in possession of property of Bracken's estate, which did not belong to it. The full amount of the bills were proved against both estates, and neither estate could have the benefit of the specific appropriation; thus a wrong was done to Bracken's general creditors by a proof being made against that estate for this £24,000, which ought to have been paid by the securities in Brickwood's hands, and Brickwood's creditors had the undue advantage of having applied for their benefit property of Bracken held by Brickwood for a specific purpose, which was no longer enforceable. Lord Eldon cut the knot by holding that the property held by Brickwood as security should be applied in payment of the acceptances to the persons holding them, not as in the nature of a direct demand or right in those persons, but as the true way of arranging the equities between the two estates. And in that particular case the result was that the bill holders were paid in full out of the proceeds of the securities, and both estates relieved of the proofs, and thus complete justice was done to the other creditors of each estate. Now apply the principles of that case to the present. Brickwood answers to Millar, Bracken to the debtor Bartrum; Brickwood, the accommodation acceptor, becomes bankrupt, having assets of Bracken in his hands more than sufficient to cover all his liability. Millar is not bankrupt-is still liable for the whole amount of his accommodation acceptances, having assets of the debtor in his hands not sufficient to cover his liability. The debtor, the accommodated drawer primarily liable to indemnify Millar, and not having done so, voluntarily makes himself bankrupt, or what is equivalent to it, and then buys back his estate from his trustee for a sum equal to 78. in the pound on his debts, of which his liability as accommodation drawer forms a part, and then seeks to withdraw from

Millar assets which are insufficient for his indem. nity, and which in Millar's hands are primarily applicable to that purpose, and have those assets applied to relieve him from his primary liability as the accommodated drawer, and having done that wrong to Millar, he further seeks to compel the bill holders to reduce their proof upon the bills by the amount of which by these means he shall have wrongly deprived Millar. It appears to me that this contention of the debtor put forward through the trustee fails altogether, being an attempt to apply the rule so as to cause, not prevent, a wrong. I have not omitted to observe that the trustee, through his solicitors, has endeavoured to induce some of the bill holders to force Millar into bankruptcy, but he has not succeeded. The bill holders appear to have confidence in Millar, and are willing to leave him to deal with his estate and manage his affairs without any hostile interference on their part, and with that confidence, I am of opinion the debtor, or the trustee on his behalf, has no right to call on this court to interfere. The order, therefore, will be as follows: Dismissing the motion so far as it seeks the delivery up by Millar or his accounting for and paying to the trustee the proceeds of any of the goods in his possession or the acceptance for £700 mentioned in the notice, and declare that the said goods, including the goods received from Messrs. Balfour and Co., and proceeds, and the acceptance or securities in the hands of Millar for indemnifying him against the payment of the several bills amounting to £3524 8s., drawn by the debtor upon, and accepted by, Millar mentioned in that notice. And it appearing that the value of the said goods and acceptances are insufficient for the purpose of such indemnity, declare that the said George Millar is entitled to sell and dispose of the said goods, and to receive the proceeds thereof, and also the sum of £700 due upon the said acceptance, and to give a valid discharge for the same to the acceptors thereof, and it is ordered that the trustee do concur with the said George Millar in doing all such acts as may be necessary or proper for enabling the said George Millar to receive and give a discharge for the said sum of £700. And that the said George Millar do apply the proceeds of the said goods, and the said acceptance for the benefit of the said bill holders, in such manner as he and they shall agree upon, so that none of the said bill holders, after giving credit for the composition of 78. in the pound, mentioned in the scheme of arrangement for settlement of the debtor's affairs

approved by this court on the 30th Sept. 1873 or so much of such composition as the said bill holders respectively shall receive, do receive more than 20s. in the pound on the amount of the bills respectively held by them; and declare that the said bill holders are entitled to prove against the estate of the said debtor for the full amount of the bills held by them, with the usual rebate as to any that had not matured on the 25th July last, and to receive the said composition of 78. in the pound thereon, in the manner provided for by their scheme of arrangement. Order the said Charles James Buckley to pav to the several respondents who have been served with and have appeared upon this motion their costs to be taxed by the registrar; and let the said Charles James Buckley be at liberty to add the said costs and also his own costs of this application to the costs which he is entitled to be paid under the said scheme of arrangement, but so as not to prejudice the right of the creditors of the said debtor to the said composition of 78. in the pound, on the security provided for the last instalment thereof. Liberty is reserved to the trustee to apply to this court in respect of the disposition and application by the said George Miller of the said goods and moneys, the subject of the said indemnity, and otherwise under this order as he may be advised.


INTERNATIONAL LAW IN JAPAN.-The Japanese Embassy have appointed Mr. W. E. Grigsby, B.A., of Balliol College, Oxford, Professor of International Law at Yeddo. We understand that a handsome salary has been guaranteed. Mr. Grigsby took a first-class in the final classical school in Michaelmas Term 1872; he afterwards gained the Vinerian Law Scholarship, and last summer took a first class in the Law School. He is also a graduate of the University of Glasgow, where he gained the Luke Fellowship, and is a member of the University of London. There have been five Japanese students studying law at Oxford this Term, among whom are the son of the Prime Minister, and Nabishima, one of the chief Daimios. These students manifest great zeal and aptitude for the study of English law. They take the lectures of their tutor in English, which they translate into their own language, and submit the retransiations to his approval.

CRIMINAI. PROSECUTIONS.-The cost of criminal prosecutions in Ireland in the year 1871-72 was £64,935 5s. 5d., against £75,244 0s. 2d. in the preceding year.

MR. WILLIAMS, late Attorney-General of the United States, has been appointed Chief Justice or the Supreme Court. He is succeeded by Mr. Bristow, late Solicitor-General.

POLLING DISTRICTS.-A return has been issued of the divisions of counties into the polling districts of England and Wales, under the Ballot Act 1872. In Middlesex, including the City of London, there are seventeen polling districts, and the several places are specified.

CROWN DEBTS.-For the year ending June 1873, 150 persons-68 in England, 1 in Scotland, SOLICITORS ELECTED ΤΟ THE OFFICE OF and 81 in Ireland-were imprisoned at the suit MAYOR FOR THE ENSUING YEAR.-Mr. Alfred of the Exchequer-the Board of Inland Revenue Rooker, Plymouth; Mr. G. M. Watson, Stockton--for periods of from 1 day to 12 months. As to on-Tees; Mr. H. E. Silvester, Beverly; Mr. the Customs 114 persons were imprisoned, and Alexander Beale, Reading. 1223 persons were fined. In one case a fine of £2000 was inflicted; the offender was convicted in November 1871. The imprisonment of this person continued on the 2nd August 1873.

EUROPEAN ASSURANCE ARBITRATION. -On Wednesday last Lord Romily sat in the European Assurance Arbitration. Some cases stood over, and in the case that was heard judgment was deferred. The next sitting will, probably, be held some time at the commencement of the new year, when it is expected that a large number of cases will be ready for hearing.

CRIME IN IRELAND.-It is shown by the judicial statistics for Ireland of last year that the treasonable offences, which in 1867 exceeded 500, were reduced in 1870 to thirty-seven, had fallen to seven in 1871, and had entirely disappeared in 1872. Last year there were 211,470 offences dealt with summarily in Ireland against 220,179 in the previous year. The number convicted in 1872 was 177,526.

THE PRIVILEGE OF JURY.-In the recent Nisi Prius case of Wolf v. Clayton, where the defendant was sued for an assault, and a verdict was given in his favour, it being in the opinion of the jury "a mere horse-dealing squabble," the presiding judge-Mr. Justice Brett-remarked, "Don't give any reason for your verdict, gentle men. It is a great privilege that you have never to give a reason.'

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THE ELECTION PETITION AGAINST THE ATTOR NEY-GENERAL.-Notice has just been given that Mr. Justice Grove will hear the election petition against the Attorney-General (Mr. H. James), and his Lordship has appointed Monday, the 12th Jan. to commence the proceedings. W. C. Russell, Q. C., and Mr. W. G. Harrison will appear for the petitioners; Mr. Serjt. Ballantine, Mr. H. Giffard, Q. C., and Mr. J. O. Griffits, for the Attorney. General. The allegations against the sitting member are that he has been guilty by his agents, of bribery, treating, undue influence, and persuasion.

LAWYERS-as well those in embryo as those full fledged-seem particularly liable to that condition of things usually described by the daily papers by "Mysterious disappearance." Not long since a solicitor in the Isle of Wight was lost for weeks, and during the present week it seems that a Mr. John Jumblin, sent up to town by his father to pass the intermediate examination at the Law Institution, has shared a similar fate. No doubt, in proper time, the gentleman in question will be restored alive and well to his anxious father, who applied to Mr. Flowers, at Bow-street, upon the subject.

THE VIRGINIUS.-A correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette comes to the following conclusions: "On the whole, the nearest approach that can be formed to a legal opinion on the whole matter is that, according to legal analogies, the Spaniards had a right to seize the ship, that they had no right (unless they entered Cuban waters) to try the men whom they found in it, but only a right to detain them and deliver them over to the Americans for trial, with a possible exception in regard to subjects of their own who had already committed crimes against Spanish laws. Lastly, it appears to me that unless they entered Spanish waters they could not be regarded as rebels, and that, whatever else they were, they were not pirates. This, however, is so qualified and intricate a view of the subject that no human creature not being a lawyer could be expected to act upon it, and the general result appears to be that international law, as it is called, is in a vague unsatisfactory state, and leaves out of account many matters which it ought to provide for." PRIVATE BILL LEGISLATION. The total number of sets of plans deposited in the Private Bill Office of the Board of Trade, is 241 for this year. Of these 121 refer to railways, 5 to tramways, 68 to gas, road, water, harbour, pier, and schemes of a miscellaneous nature. In 47 cases the promoters have elected to proceed by way of provisional orders. On or before the 15th inst., notice is to be given to owners, lessees, and occupiers of land intended to be taken by any private bill in Parliament, also notice as to applications for tramways, &c. Plans and books of reference were deposited by the 30th ult., and it is understood that the number was 241, of which 121 relate to railways. By the 21st inst. all petitions for private bills are to be deposited at the Private Bill Office with the particulars specified in the Standing Orders; and on or before the 31st inst. all estimates, declarations, and lists of owners and occupiers as required by the orders of the House. The money deposits in the Court of Chancery to be made before the 15th Jan.



NOTE.-This Department of the LAW TIMES being open to free discussion on all professional topics, the Editor is not responsible for any opinions or statements contained in it

OUR INVADERS.-This is a question in which all solicitors are interested, and in some places the evil is so great that deeds are drawn and charged for by persons wholly unconnected with the Profession. This being so, I would suggest (as it is useless to expect solicitors to take the initiative and to prosecute, and as there is no society to protect them) that they should bring their influence to bear and get the annual certificate duty discontinued. Without more practical protection than they at present have, it is unfair that they as a body should be taxed in the way they are. A COUNTRY SOLICITOR.

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(Q. 34). STAMPS-AGREEMENT.-By 33 & 34 Vict. c. 97, a penny stamp must be attached to any tack or lease for any definite term less than a year, of any dwellinghouse or tenement, or part thereof, at a rental of less than £10 annually. Under sect. 24, the stamp should be cancelled, subject to a £10 penalty; and by sect. 36, by the person whose signature is first made. According to Tilsley on Stamps (3rd edit., p. 476), an agreement for a lease is on a similar footing. See p. 505, 506, as to

other leases.

C. C.

(Q. 35). BILL OF COSTS-PARTNER.-Unless the client expressly consented to accept the firm as his creditor the bill should be in the single name of the solicitor first instructed; for the right to enforce payment of the bill, being a chose in action, cannot be transferred to a third party (and here the firm is a third party) without the

consent of all the parties to the original contract. But if the client consented to become debtor to the firm the whole bill should be presented in the name of the firm : (See Moor v. Hill, 2 Peake, 10; and Wilsford v. Wood, 1 OWL. Esp. 183.)

In this case I would make out two distinct bills: No. 1, in my own name solely; and No. 2, in the joint names of myself and partner. Such appears the correct plan. C. C.

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(Q. 39.) CUSTODY OF INFANT.-A. B. should execute a power of attorney (which is an instrument under seal attested by one witness) to some one in the country, sending at the same time an affidavit as to the age of the infant, the nature and amount of its fortune, what relations it has, and why A. B. desires to remove it from its mother's custody. Such person should then apply to the Court of Chancery. The application should be at chambers, by original summons, entitled, "In the matter of C. B., an infant, by his next friend." If the infant has no property a small sum, such as £100, should be vested in a trustee for his benefit previously

to the application.



ORGANISATION AMONG SOLICITORS. (Continued from page 72.)

And we have thirty-five local law societies, some
of them very active and powerful in their own dis-
tricts, and capable on an emergency of bringing
considerable force to bear; others little more than
social clubs, but each existing and acting in the
main independently and without any acknowledged
means of combination. These societies are, more-
over, so few and so situated in place that while no
county or considerable district in the kingdom is
sufficiently represented, sixteen English and eight
Welsh counties, to say nothing of many most im-
portant districts and towns, are not represented
at all.

Parliamentary Influence.

with tolerable confidence that it will always fail in this respect. For it is not in human nature to expect a body, the working strength of which is formed by London men, to be zealous in doing that to which as London men they totally object. So far as it was designed to enable London and the country to co-operate on points on which they are agreed, that object will be better promoted by the country solicitors joining the older and more powerful body, and thus making one very strong society instead of two comparatively weak ones-a matter of so much importance that it would be worth while making some sacrifice to make it, even if sacrifices were implied (which I think they are not) in the step.

With these facts before us we need not wonder But as regards the country there is much to do. that men in official position can afford to sneer at our Parliamentary influence, and that legislation There are in England at least eighty towns which should be conducted without reference to our should have their law societies as a matter of opinions, and in a sense frequently adverse to our absolute and immediate necessity. In what state legitimate demands. Now I think that an edu- must we consider an organization to be in which there is no ready way of moving the Procated and powerful body of men should not conWe fession in towns like Chester, with fifty-one sent to this contemptuous indifference. In should not be satisfied to be held of so much practising solicitors, Derby, with forty-six solici tors, Durham with thirty-four, Oxford with thirtysmaller account than the Licensed Victuallers' four, Huddersfield with forty-four, Sheffield with Association or the Council of Trades Unions. eighty-eight, Bradford with sixty, Norwich with And the question is, how to make ourselves felt. There is but one means, and that is by a more eighty, and Nottingham with eighty-one solicitors -all these towns, moreover, the centres of imporI proceed to offer some perfect organisation. tant districts? suggestions on this head.

The Work done by Local Law Societies. Such being the geographical position, what is the nature of these law societies; what do they set themselves to do, and how do they do it? some cases I have reason to know, from correspondence with their secretaries, that but little actual work is attempted; that the committees are rarely summoned, and that there is much diffi. culty in securing an attendance even when impor. tant business is before them. The societies of which this is true exist mainly for the purpose of social intercourse, of promoting good feeling and facilitating the settlement among themselves of disputed points of practice or etiquette. These are important objects, and I do not underrate them. The really active societies, however, do this and something more. They watch legislation and judicial decisions affecting their interests and the interests of their clients. Law Bills in Parliament are regularly sent to them, considered by their committees, and reported on when necessary to general meetings of the society. The strongest of them have recognised positions in their towns as public bodies, and as such enter into official communication with municipal corporations, chambers of commerce, and members of Parliament. The most powerful body in the locality which knew that it had to encounter the determined opposition of one of these societies would take that fact (I suspect) into consideration. With every respect to Sir George Jessel, they are neither obscure nor uninfluential, but on the contrary, perfectly well known and highly respected; wielding large powers, and wielding them for the public good. A really active local law society is, within its own range of influence, most effective. For all purposes of local action, for the purpose of bringing to bear on public questions, and on public men the concentrated force of a particular district; for the purpose of establishing friendly relations between the members of a profession who do business under scmewhat exasperating conditions; for the purpose of compelling the attention of its members to questions not only interesting as problems in jurisprudence and political science, but of direct moment to themselves; for the purpose of creating and preserving a high standard of professional honour, such a society is efficient and powerful.

Concerted action of Local Law Societies. But for the purpose of concerted action, as a means of bringing the united strength of our Pro

Suggestions for Organisation.
Suppose we had at this moment no organisation
or administrative machinery of any kind, and that
the question before us were, how best to arrange
our force and make it effective for the purpose in
hand. What would be assumed as necessary by
men who had to consider this question for the first
time? Given the circumstances of our Profession,
on what lines would persons acquainted with
those circumstances propose to build. I think it
would occur to every one that, in order to make
the most of the influence of a body so widely sepa-
rated as solicitors, no single centre of administration
would suffice. I say to make the most of the
influence"-for it is not the payment of an annual
subscription, but personal attention, that is
needed. But in order to interest men in a subject
to the degree necessary to induce them to give
their active attention to it, it must be brought
near to them, and they must have something to
do with it beyond merely subscribing to further it.
To get at the solicitors of Cornwall and Northum-
berland, for instance, we must find something to do
in Cornwall and in Northumberland; something to
engage their attention and make them feel that
they are directly responsible for a part of the
common work. And a second postulate would be,
that an exceedingly strong administration must
be established in London. We should, in effect,
say to ourselves,—“ Go to―let us have a London
office and branch offices all over the country. Let
us give to our London office a strength and posi.
tion that will enable it worthily to represent us at
the centre of affairs, but let us take care that it
does represent us, and to this end let it be con-
nected with its affiliated members by an efficient
system of representation and by constant and
active communication." A strong central ad.
ministration, connected with local administration
sufficiently numerous to utilise diffused
strength, would be, I suspect, the guiding idea
if we had to construct our organisation de novo.
The system at present in operation does not, I


I cannot help thinking that if this matter were seriously taken up, and an appeal made to the heads of the Profession in the towns I have named, and in others mentioned in a list annexed to this paper, many, at least, would be induced to


Modus operandi.

necessity of the step, together with some hints as I should suggest a circular pointing out the to the manner in which law societies may be formed and worked.

subject is useful is shown by the applications occasionally made to the secretaries of the established societies for a copy of their rules. In towns in which there is no law library the formation of one might be made with advantage a part of the scheme.

That information on this

But the law societies formed and to be formed

require two distinct lines of connection. First, they should be connected with what I call for shortness "The London Society" that is, the society formed by the merger of the Metropolitan and Provincial with the Incorporated Law Society. I do not think it at all necessary that provision should be made for enabling law societies, as such, to become members of the London body.

fession to bear on given questions, local law need scarcely say, fulfil these requirements. It is Bill, or a Rivers Commission, or a Mines Regula

both redundant and defective. As regards the
metropolitan administration, it gives us too much,
and as regards the provincial administration too
little. We have in London two societies, each to
a great extent managed by the same men, each
representing the same general interests, doing, or
aiming at doing, the same work; active together,
inactive together, but with distinct offices, a
separate staff and a different name. And we have
in the country a wholly and absurdly insufficient
number of law societies, unconnected with each
other, and unrelated to the central offices in


societies, as at present constituted, are not
adapted and are not effective. I say this with
some knowledge of what may be done, and of what
has actually been accomplished, by the sponta-
neous association of certain law societies. When
the Judicature Bill was before Parliament there
were certain parts of that Bill-the district re-
gistry clauses and the clauses relating to the ap-
pointment of referees-to which a large number
of country solicitors attached much importance.
This part of the Bill having been pointedly
threatened, some societies who occasionally act
together, the Law Society of this town, the
societies of Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle,
and Leeds, took the matter up, had a meeting and
formed a committee, sent some of their members The remedy for this unsatisfactory state of
to London, prepared a circular which was issued things is not far to seek. As regards London, it
to every law society in the kingdom, procured the would appear on every ground desirable to unite
assent of about fourteen societies to that circular, the Incorporated with the Metropolitan and Pro-
distributed it to all members of Parliament, and vincial Law Association. So far as the interests
in other ways actively intervened to secure the of the London Profession alone are concerned, the
object in view. But the difficulties of working dual representation and management is nothing
were very great, and the labour was very great, but a loss of prestige and a waste of working
and those difficulties and that labour cannot, power. So far as the interests of the country
under existing conditions, be faced often or except Profession are involved, the co-existence of the
on occasions of very unusual importance.
two societies only serves to perplex and em-
Our position as regards organisation is there-barrass. On those occasions, happily not very
fore this. We have two societies established in frequent hitherto, when there has been a division
London occupying the same ground and doing of opinion between the solicitors of London and
what may be regarded as practically the same the country, the Metropolitan and Provincial
work-watching the interests of the Profession Association is neutral, and therefore useless. So
generally, directly and actually representing the far as this association was designed to furnish
London branch of it, but without any adequate or the provincial branch of our Profession with a
recognised means either of ascertaining the means of enforcing their views on points on
opinions of the mass of country solicitors, or of which the metropolitan branch was supine or
giving effect to those opinions if they knew them. hostile, it has failed. And it may be predicted

The working of Law Societies. The mere fact of the establishment of a local law society should entitle it to correspond with and obtain such information and assistance as the London Society can bestow. There should be a secretary in the London office, charged with the special duty of corresponding with the local societies. Bills in Parliament and other papers should be circulated among them, and their attention called to matters which men immersed in their own business, and far from the centre of affairs, are apt to overlook. Secondly, the law societies should have facilities for co-operating as among themselves. It frequently happens that particular districts are specially affected by legis lative and other proposals. There is a Railway tion Bill, or some matter of that kind, in which the solicitors of a wide district may be interested. It may even happen that on some more general question a very considerable number of country solicitors may wish to act together and independently of others. Such was the case with regard to the district registry clauses of the Judicature Bill-such may be the case when the second report of the Judicature Commissioners is embodied in a bill. Such joint action is, under present circumstances, extremely embarrassing. It will be diffi cult under any circumstances, but not so difficult. Assume for the moment that we had a hundred local law societies in the United Kingdom. They would probably be distributed somewhat in this way-thirty in the six northern counties, forty in the twenty-two southern and western counties, and thirty in the twenty-three midland and eastern counties. It would be quite practicable for the law societies of these three groups to form themselves into unions-say the Northern, Midland, Southern, Eastern, and Western Union, or, if the power of summoning members whenever and necessary, still more-with joint committees, and wherever desirable, and of acting on behalf of the constituent bodies.

That is all that need be done at first in the way of framework. It would give regularity and formal sanction to their acts, and additional regulations would grow out of this. The main difficulty is, of course, in getting members at a distance to attend, and in inducing them to work when they do attend. That is a difficulty which cannot be surmounted by any administrative facilities, but the preliminary one can. But you will note

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